A Heavy 65 Pounds

A Heavy 65 Pounds

A couple of years ago, my husband and I met a friend of ours to go camping. She brought her dog, who we will call Esther. Esther is a very pretty pit bull, who weighs what her guardians describe as a heavy sixty-five pounds.

My husband, my friend, and Esther all go out on a hike. Esther's got a narrow range of homeostasis; she doesn't like being too hot or too cold or too tired either. My husband's hiking style is one I would describe as... not something many normal people can do. It usually involves going off trail, just seeing what's around the corner, perhaps that adds an extra five or ten miles, and usually there is some scrambling involved.

My husband knows that Esther is calling the shots on this hike though, and it can't be too extreme. So the hike starts off very nice. We find wild raspberries. Everything is green and pretty and flat, and then Esther starts to slow. My husband says, Well, if we can just get up to that rim over there, we can loop back to our campsite.

This is how it always starts.

So, we start to go up the hillside, and soon we are in a scrambly zone which my husband decides to scout. I wait with Esther and her human companion in the shade, and my husband comes back announcing he's found the way.

We start back up and get to a bit of steep slope, and Esther puts on the brakes. She's not going up. It's not an emotional breakdown. She just stops moving, and that heavy sixty-five pounds really becomes apparent.

My husband, not to be deterred, asks my friend if he can just log carry Esther up the slope. My friend says sure, and my husband picks up Esther. Esther, rather than be upset by this, really leans into it.

My friend and I watch my husband, breathing like he's powerlifting, because he is, carry Esther up the slope, set her down occasionally when he needs a rest, and then top out at the edge of the rim.

Once we were all on top, we sit down to have a snack, and my husband pulls out organic bison jerky. He asks my friend if Esther would like some organic bison. My friend looks at him like he's never met a dog before, and finally manages to tell him, yes, Esther would in fact like some. And Esther did. She let my husband hand feed her pieces of it.

Once Esther had eaten most of the bison jerky, she perked up, and we wandered back to the campsite.

Now, at this time, my friend and I lived in different states. We didn't get to see each other often, and usually when we saw each other, it wasn't at her house with Esther. So a few years pass, and we end up living in the same town. My friend invites us over for dinner, the first time I've been to that house.

We go inside, and they let Esther and her dog companion into the room with us, warning us that Esther doesn't really like men, so she might act a little scary.

Esther comes in, sees my husband and goes right to him, being positively sweet and cuddly.

The moral of this story is, you never know what acts of kindness you deem insignificant will be remembered by those you least expect.

S0 be kind.

And maybe carry some extra bison jerky. Just in case.